Should You Get CFA Certification in 2021?

Every other year, hundreds of thousands of professionals ponder about whether to pursue the CFA course and obtain the qualification. CFA is basically an abbreviation for Chartered Financial Analyst; a globally recognized professional designation awarded by the institute that measures and certifies the competence level and integrity of financial analysts. It is one of the most respected designations in finance and is also widely considered to be the gold standard in the field of investment analysis. The candidates are required to pass three levels of exams covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management, and security analysis.

Should I get CFA Certificate?

Prior to becoming a CFA charter holder, the candidate must meet at least one of the following educational requirements. The candidate must either have four years of professional work experience, a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of the bachelor’s degree program, or a combination of professional work experience and education summing up to four years. The applicant must pass all three levels of the CFA programme in order after satisfying the enrolment criteria. After that, the candidate must join the CFA Institute and pay annual dues. Finally, they must certify every year that they are abiding by the CFA Institute’s code of ethics and professional behaviour.

The CFA Institute

Before candidates receive their charters, it is mandatory for them to join the CFA Institute. In order to become a member of this institute. 

  • The candidate is asked to provide the professional references and to describe prior job responsibilities that demonstrate the qualified work experience. The investment professionals are directly involved in or supporting the investment decision making process. 
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent education/work experience and a passing score for the Level I CFA Exam, CIPM Program Level II Exam is required for the candidate to be eligible. 
  • At least 4,000 hours of relevant experience, completed within a span of minimum 36 months is required. 
  • The candidate also needs to have 2 or 3 professional references. 
  • A USD 275 fee is charged to become a member. 
  • The membership year spans from 1 July to 30 June.

CFA Certification:

The candidate must pass the three-level CFA test, have job experience before, during, or after the programme, submit numerous letters of recommendation, and apply to join the CFA Institute to become certified. According to most accounts, passing the three-level CFA test is difficult. Each level of the test normally requires at least 300 hours of study time, with a success rate of around 50%. Talking about the payment scale, according to the CFA Society, charter holders’ average total pay is $300,000, with a median base pay of $180,000. The impact of cash bonuses and stock or profit-sharing accounts for the discrepancy between the two figures.

Why You Should Get CFA Certification

financial analysis
  • Academic Supremacy: There’s an educational advantage in obtaining a CFA Certification; you’ll learn a lot and gain a valuable certificate for your resume. After that, your reputation will improve. People in the industry understand how much time and effort it takes to get a charter. They will think you have the capacity, devotion, ethical grounding, and analytical capabilities to execute the job in question after they see you have earned it.
  • You may experience a boost in your income after becoming a CFA, or you may be able to outperform other applicants who do not have this certification while applying for a new position. “Might” is the key word here. Hard work, talent, luck, devotion, political savvy, and character all play a role in one’s success in the investing business, so don’t think of the charter as a golden ticket to financial success.
  • Global Recognition: The CFA charter is one of the most well-known financial professional designations in the world. CFA charter holders benefit from greater worldwide career mobility because of their worldwide reputation. If you’re going to relocate to Asia, for example, a CFA charter acquired elsewhere will still be valued by Asian businesses during the recruiting process.
  • Affordable and a good return on Investment: The overall cost of a CFA charter depends on the type of study materials you receive and how many examinations you take. $2,600 assuming early registration costs for all three levels and consecutive passes utilizing solely CFA curriculum (no third-party study materials); The $8,000 figure is based on typical registration costs for all three levels, successive passes, and the use of third-party materials throughout the process. In terms of professional qualifications, that’s still a fair deal.

Also Read: Top Finance Sector Jobs in 2021 (India)

Why You Shouldn’t Get CFA certification:

Chartered Financial Analysts
  • Time consumption: A minimum of 250 hours each year, spread out over three years, is required to become a CFA. You will forego time with your family and friends, as well as the pursuit of your favourite pass times. And even if you put in all that effort, there’s no assurance that you’ll get the charter.
  • Enrolment and Registration cost: While this may not be a huge concern, it is something to think about. A candidate for level I will be charged a one-time programme enrolment fee as well as an exam registration cost. Candidates for Levels II and III will also have to pay a registration fee. One will also have to pay for the books and study programmes one needs. One should budget many thousand dollars each time one undertakes the exams.
  • CFA doesn’t fix a career: The CFA isn’t a cure-all for a sagging career. If you’re enrolling in the programme to jump-start a stalled career, you should first investigate other possible causes for your stagnation. Before devoting a significant amount of time and money on establishing your lineage, consider honing your soft talents, such as work ethic and political savvy.


Finally, obtaining a CFA charter will provide you with more financial alternatives and make it easier for you to investigate others. As a consequence, you may anticipate greater freedom and greater income in your profession than if you didn’t have a CFA charter.

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Aryan Vora
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